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/g/ Mechanical Keyboard FAQs

Danboard Dec 31st, 2014 (edited) 45,740 Never
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  1. /g/ Mechanical Keyboard FAQs:
  2.  
  3. 1) What keyboard do I buy?
  4.         - See the buyer's guide
  5.        
  6. 2) ABS? PBT? POM? What are these?
  7.         - These are different types of plastics that are used to make the keyboard cases and key caps
  8.         - ABS is the cheapest of the 3 and will lead to key cap shine after a few months of use, has a smooth texture
  9.         - PBT is arguably the best material for key caps since they will resist shine and have a fine grain texture
  10.         - POM is typically only used to special cases such as higher quality key caps with transparent legends for back lights
  11.  
  12. 3) Where do I buy mechanical keyboards?
  13.         - See the /g/ sellers list: http://pastebin.com/8Yku80VL
  14.  
  15. 4) What is the difference between keycap brands?
  16.         GMK
  17.         - Highly regarded among keyboard hobbyists
  18.         - High quality thick ABS
  19.         - Large range of keycap molds
  20.         - Cherry profile
  21.         - $80 - $120 Price range on average
  22.  
  23.         BSP
  24.         - High quality thick PBT
  25.         - Limited keycap molds
  26.         - Cherry profile
  27.         - $90 - $120 Price range on average
  28.  
  29.         Gateron
  30.         - Relatively new company
  31.         - High quality thick PBT (about 0.5 mm thinner than BSP)
  32.         - Large range of keycap molds
  33.         - Cherry profile
  34.         - $50 - $80 Price range on average
  35.  
  36.         Vortex
  37.         - One of the only companies to offer double-shot PBT
  38.         - Average quality with keycaps ranging from thin to thick PBT depending on the series
  39.         - Average range of keycap molds
  40.         - OEM and Cherry profiles
  41.         - $30 - $70 Price range on average
  42.  
  43.         Signature Plastics
  44.         - Average quality medium thickness PBT and ABS
  45.         - Large range of keycap molds
  46.         - DSA, DCS, SA, LP, KT profiles
  47.         - $70 - $120 Price range on average
  48.  
  49.         Tai-Hao
  50.         - Low quality thin PBT and ABS
  51.         - Limited range of keycap molds
  52.         - OEM profile
  53.         - $20 - $50 Price range on average
  54.        
  55. 5) Cherry vs Kailh vs Gateron vs etc? Does it really matter?
  56.         Cherry
  57.         - Cherry MX switches are the most widely available mechanical keyboard switch
  58.         - The original mechanical switches with this design
  59.         - They are reliable and have withstood the test of time
  60.  
  61.         Clones
  62.         - Kailh switches are based on Cherry's design and are cheaper in cost
  63.         - In a blind test, most people would not be able to tell the difference between Cherry and Kailh switches
  64.         - Cherry switches use a higher quality plastic for the stems, this means that they're less prone to snapping
  65.         - Cherry MX key caps DO fit on Kailh switches
  66.  
  67.         - Gateron switches are considered the best clones available due to their smooth linear switches
  68.         - Many people consider Gateron's linear switches to be better than Cherry's offerings
  69.  
  70. 6) I bought this key cap set and it is shaped differently than my original set!
  71.         - Key caps come in variety of different profiles, most stock keyboards come with OEM profile keycaps
  72.         - Other profiles are: Cherry, DSA, SA, SS, DSS, LP, KT
  73.         - Make sure you know what profile you are buying if you plan on mixing and matching sets
  74.  
  75. 7) Why does it seem like /g/ hates Razer and Corsair mechanical keyboards?
  76.         - Razer has changed from Cherry switches to Kailh switches without reducing the price of their products
  77.                 - While using Kailh switches isn't inherently terrible, Razer have switched purely to increase their profits
  78.                
  79.         - Corsair mechanical keyboards have a certain aesthetic to them which attracts a specific demographic
  80.         - Corsair boards use a non-standard layout for the 5th row. This makes buying after market keycap sets difficult
  81.                 - There have been reports of quickly dying LEDs on certain Corsair models
  82.                 - RGB versions of this keyboard have had numerous issues with drivers and flickering
  83.  
  84. 8) What are the differences between all the types of switches?
  85.         - You can find a detailed description of the most common switches here: http://i.imgur.com/p86x8kS.gif
  86.  
  87. Want even more information? Try http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/official-mechanical-keyboard-guide
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